Whether you’re a Journalism major, Film major, or even completely unsure of what you want to major in (even if it’s not communications), JRNL010 at Hofstra University, also known as Journalism Tools, will give you a very broad basis for a multitude of different skills. Not only can these skills be beneficial to Journalism majors, but there are also a multitude of other majors that they can be applied to as well.

1. Writing

With the Journalism JRNL abbreviation in the code, it’s no wonder that writing makes up a portion of the course. Writing is important not just for Journalism majors, but for anyone going into a field where you have to write, whether it be reports, legal documents, lesson plans, etc., knowing different ways of writing, including more article-style journalistic writing, is sure to benefit you. Along with this, it’s interesting to see the frameworks for news and article writing, which gives you a kind of inside look as to the thought-process of those who write the articles you read.


2. Website Building

No matter what profession you’re in, technology is the future, and knowing how to build a website is extremely important and a good skill to have, especially when you’re building a business. Being able to efficiently use the Internet is an almost unavoidable part of the job market today, as everything seems to be Internet and media-based. Knowing how to build a website can be a very beneficial skill, and it’s a good tool to keep under your belt.

‘The Individualist Website on WordPress’ via Melanie Haid


3. Interviewing Skills

Throughout the semester, students are asked to interview strangers outside of the classroom and become more confident in regards to talking to others and asking them questions. While interviewing is a very important skill for any major, being interviewed as well as talking to unfamiliar people is very important. Consider it a real-world skill; you will have to approach people that you do not know often in life, so it is certainly a good skill to take with you at the end of the course.

‘Interview to take Photos’ via Melanie Haid


4. Photo Editing

Even if you aren’t interested in photography, the photo-editing and photo story portions of the course are very interesting. You are asked to take photos of someone and create a story around your conversations and interactions with said person, as well as tell a story largely with pictures rather than the written word. It really makes you realize how pictures do seem to speak a thousand words – photographs can have major impacts on websites, billboards, advertising, etc., and knowing what resonates with your audience is only going to make the task easier for you when presented with it in the future. As well as this, you’ll learn the basics of Photoshop; even if you don’t ever need it for anything, it’s still great to know how to do it if you ever need it.

‘Trevor Fraser Photo Story’ via Melanie Haid


5. Video Editing

Filming and putting together video content that sends your message out properly is not a simple task. In this course, you work a great deal with Adobe Premier, which is the video-editing software used by many media corporations. It is fairly easy to learn, and once you spend enough time on it, it actually becomes quite easy. It’s important to know how to get the message you want across the way that you want it to be perceived. Not to mention it gives you an insight (and an appreciation) for how long it takes for things like TV and movies, even the nightly news, to be completed.


6. Charts and Graphs

Even if you’re majoring in mathematics, you will be dealing with charts and graphs throughout your career. But, even if you’re only reading and analyzing a graph to get information, it’s helpful to know what you’re looking at and how the data pictured influences the message. By knowing how to make graphs and charts and turn data into visuals, you’ll get a deeper understanding of the depth of visuals for data. The same data presented in different ways can change the entire perspective of it, and knowing your numbers is never a skill you don’t want to have.


‘Do Women Really Go to College More than Men?’ via Melanie Haid


No matter what you’re going in to, JRNL010 provides a multitude of valuable information and methods of relaying information to an audience. Getting these basics and becoming well-versed in a multitude of different media, as well as growing confidence when speaking to others, helps you in every aspect of your life, even if they’re simply skills on the side. This course will teach you the greatest variety out of most regular courses you will take, and if you do decide to major in communications, JRNL010 is required anyway, so you’re already one step ahead.


Lead Image Credit: Melanie Haid


Melanie Haid

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